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Tastings

Swill & Suds

Spirits Review: Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey

August 19, 2017
Spirits Review: Kilbeggan Single Grain Irish Whiskey | SwineAndSwill.com

By Patrick Gary, Contributor

I have been told that every Irishman in the world is a storyteller, and that every story told by an Irishman is true. That said, I’ve also been told about Cuchulain and Fin McCool, so at least in the realms of absolute veracity, there are some “true” stories that are, at the very least, embellished.

A story that I was told recently, that seems to be more truth than legend, concerns the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland. That would be Kilbeggan Distilling Company, in Kilbeggan, County Westmeath. The original distillery made its spirits for 200 years before shuttering the business. However, 50 years later, in 2007, Kilbeggan was able to dust off its small-pot copper stills and start sharing their variety of Irish whiskey.

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Swill & Suds

Spirits Review: Kimo Sabe Mezcal

June 25, 2017
Spirits Review: Kimo Sabe Mezcal | SwineAndSwill.com
By Patrick Gary, Contributor

A couple of things to start off with if you aren’t familiar with the basics of mezcal: Mezcal is a distilled spirit made from the pina of any one of the 30 varieties of the agave cactus. Tequila is a specific type of mezcal made in a specific region of Mexico from only the blue agave. Therefore, tequila and mezcal are related, but mezcal is not generally designed to be either shot or mixed into cocktails, is consumed generally without salt or lime; is generally meant to be sipped neat; and when it is well made, it is very smooth. That said, Americans like cocktails, and there are mezcals that cater to that taste. There, if you didn’t know exactly what we were talking about, now you know enough.

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Swill & Suds

Kona Brewing Brings Island-Fruity IPA to Dallas

May 25, 2017
Island-Fruity IPA Hits Dallas | SwineAndSwill.com
By Patrick Gary, Contributor

After more than a year of waiting, Kona Brewing Co. has finally rolled its tribute to Kauai out to the U.S. mainland. Hanalei Island IPA is a smooth, sessionable IPA with mild fruity notes that come from the POG (passionfruit, orange and guava) mash. For those who have not traveled to Hawaii, POG is omnipresent on the islands but practically unheard of once you leave.

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Swill & Suds

It’s Big Texas Beer Fest Time Again!

March 19, 2017
Big Texas Beer Fest 2017 Is On! | SwineAndSwill.com

Late March/early April are heading our way quick, which means … so is this year’s Big Texas Beer Fest! Yeehaw and bottoms up!

The annual beer-sipping extravaganza is coming back to Fair Park and bringing its usual super-extensive slate of craft beers from Dallas, Texas, the US and the world over. Beginning last year, BTBF became a two-day affair, and it seems that format was popular enough to be repeated this month. The Friday and Saturday sessions are the same, except for the live-band lineup. So whichever day you go, you’ll be sure to enjoy brews aplenty.

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Swill & Suds, Swine Dining

My North Texas Beer Week Wish List

November 6, 2015
North Texas Beer Week | SwineAndSwill.com

North Texas Beer Week is back to lift beer lovers from Dallas to Fort Worth to Denton to sudsy nirvana. This year’s celebration features more than 400 events from today through Sunday, Nov. 15, so not only would you be crazy not to make time to hit up one or more of them, but you can be sure to find some event to rave about. Foodies can find a multitude of beer pairing meals; hopheads can lean toward any number of IPA-forward tastings and tappings; even fruity beer lovers have an event to emblazon on their calendar. Best part? There’s seemingly an activity or party for every interest in between.

Here’s a list of the events that caught my eye and that I’d totally attend if I could survive attending NTX Beer Week every damn day. For the rest of the gigantic lineup, go straight to the source at NTX Beer Week’s homepage.

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Swill & Suds

Tasting Distinct Texas spirits from IronRoot Republic

September 14, 2015

One of the most interesting things about being a spirits writer is that people always want to know about the most interesting thing is that they’ve never heard of. Some little thing that is really special but that nobody has heard of. However, unlike restaurants or beer, most of the really large liquor companies actually do a pretty decent job of making a good, distinctive product. A beer snob will certainly scoff at a Bud Light. A whiskey drinker is normally fine with Jack Daniels Old No. 7 or a glass of The Glenlivet.

But sometimes there is something really special being done in small batches that the whole world doesn’t know about yet. That is surely true of IronRoot Republic Distilling in Denison, Texas.

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Swill & Suds

Swill Sampling: Ranger Creek Rimfire whiskey

August 12, 2015

Ed. note from Farah: While Swine & Swill is a labor of love for Jerry and I, we’re all about opening the doors to those who want to share their love of all things boozy and porky in this forum. So we’re happy to welcome our friend and very experienced spirits writer Patrick Gary to do some occasional contributing to the blog. Check out his review of San Antonio distiller (and brewer!) Ranger Creek’s single-malt Rimfire whiskey.

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Swill & Suds

Swill Sampling: Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur

June 8, 2015
Sampling Barrow's Intense Ginger Liqueur | SwineAndSwill.com

Because of the singular nature of this spirit, I’m going to take a slightly different tack to this Swill Sampling than Jerry would. Stay with me, and you’ll soon see why …

I’m doing a tasting of Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, a lovely spirit I encountered when I met one of its company leaders, Josh Morton. Barrow’s is a Brooklyn-made liqueur that is hand-crafted with fresh ginger, neutral cane spirit and sugar. Its simplicity in ingredients is reflected in its taste. Read on to learn more …

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Swill & Suds

4 fascinating factoids about Hennessy

March 31, 2015

Yesterday, I attended a cognac education session led by National Hennessy Ambassador Jordan Bushell, who knows a thing or two about the brandy. I came away with a handful of “wows” and “who knew?” moments that I wanted to share about the grape-based beverage (for example, I totally forgot it was grape-based!) Here’s more ….

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